Adipurush Movie Controversy: What Is It About?

June 26, 2023 by No Comments

Adipurush is a mythological action newly released South Indian movie based on the Hindu epic Ramayana. Adipurush movie stars famous actors and actresses like Prabhas, Saif Ali Khan, Kriti Sanon, and many more.

The release of an official Adipurush movie was highly awaited. This movie was initially announced in August 2020. The film’s primary photography began in February 2021 and ended in November 2021, mainly in Mumbai. Ajay-Atul, a well-known composer duo, composed the film’s music. Adipurush holds the distinction of making one of the most expensive Indian films ever, with a budget of 500 crores INR (approximately US$63 million).

Likewise, the producers released this movie to the public on June 16, 2023. From the starting this movie particularly received predominantly negative reviews from critics. While the soundtrack garnered praise. However, critics harshly criticized the movie’s direction, screenplay, dialogues, visuals, and deviations from the source materials. Despite its record-breaking revenues, the film has received a tremendous reaction in India.

In an unexpected turn of events, Nepal’s capital city Kathmandu has banned this movie’s distribution. Along with all other Indian movies, the capital has banned the movie Adipurush. The decision was taken in response to Kathmandu’s Mayor regarding the film’s depiction of the character Sita. Kathmandu’s outright ban on Indian films exposes the controversy and influence of Adipurush beyond India’s borders.

Why is Adipurush’s Screening Halted in Kathmandu and Other Places in Nepal?

On June 18 Kathmandu’s Mayor Balendra Shah issued an order for all movie halls in the Nepalese capital to stop screening Indian movies. Mr. Shah made this choice after issuing an ultimatum to the creators of the film Adipurush, demanding the deletion of the dialogue that referred to Sita as the daughter of India. The Mayor argued that the dialogue was misleading. As Sita the daughter of King Janak of Janankpur is currently part of Nepal. Not only the major but this has made Nepalese citizens furious as well.

The relationship to Sita, the female protagonist of the epic Ramayana is a source of pride in Nepal. Sita’s home is said to be Janakpur, located in Nepal. Due to this connection, people also refer to Sita as Janaki, the daughter of Janak. Despite the existence of renowned Bollywood stars with Nepalese heritage, such as Manisha Koirala and singer Udit Narayan, who frequently act as cultural ambassadors between the two nations. Controversy surrounding Indian films in Nepal is nothing new. Likewise, riots and protests erupted in Nepal in 2000 in response to alleged anti-Nepal sentiments attributed to prominent Indian actor Hrithik Roshan. However he later denied making those remarks. For a long time, this scandal hampered Nepal’s ties with Bollywood.

Overall, the history and mythologies of the joint Nepal-India culture, encompassing both Hinduism and Buddhism, inseparably link Lumbini and Janakpur, making them significant to Nepal.

Reason For Potential Movie Ban in India

Protests erupted in multiple places in response to the film Adipurush, a multilingual rendition of the Ramayana. The film, directed by Om Raut and starring Prabhas and Kriti Sanon, has received criticism for its speech, colloquial language, and representation of some legendary epic figures.

While Union Minister Anurag Thakur remarked that no one has the right to damage people’s feelings, Union Minister of State SP Singh Baghel added that individuals who do not like the film are free to not watch it. As the demonstrations became louder, the Mumbai Police decided to provide protection for dialogue writer Manoj Muntashir Shukla at his request.

Certain words and sequences in the film were also criticized by political organizations such as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Some phrases, according to AAP spokesperson Sanjay Singh, are a grave insult to Lord Ram. Likewise, the protest held in Uttar Pradesh, Maharastra, and Delhi with thousands taking to the streets to protest the film. Seers in Ayodhya urged for the ban of the film, stating that its dialogue. In Varanasi, a group organized a protest and tore movie posters. The Hindu Mahasabha of Lucknow filed a police complaint against the film’s producers and stars.

Furthermore, The Samajwadi Party supported the protest to the film, claiming that it offended the devout with its cheap and superficial dialogues. Akhilesh Yadav, SP chief, highlighted that the censor board should check the political character certificate of individuals who influence people’s faith by releasing films with a certain goal paid by their political masters.

Adipurush Box Office Collection

Despite garnering negative reviews, the controversial film Adipurush is still doing well at the box office. According to Box Office India, the adaption of the Ramayana garnered a net collection of 105 crore in its first weekend. The film’s release was accompanied by harsh reviews, with particular emphasis on the dialogues. Critics regarded the dialogues, especially those delivered by Devdatta Nage as Bajrang (Hanuman), as lacking elegance and seriousness. These comments may have had an influence on ticket sales in the Hindi belt, which were lower than projected.

Furthermore, the effect of Cyclone Biparjoy caused spectators in Gujarat and Rajasthan to stay at home and avoid cinemas. Despite predictions of higher Sunday collections compared to Friday and Saturday, this did not occur. The film grossed roughly 35 crore net in its first three days at the box office. However, by the end of Day 3, T-Series, the production firm behind Adipurush, had announced gross earnings of 340 crore. Meanwhile, Manoj Muntashir, the dialogue writer, indicated that he would alter some of the phrases in response to the outrage.

Overall, talking about the reviews Adipurush movie has received mostly unfavorable feedback. Saibal Chatterjee, a film reviewer, described the picture as a mix of Planet of the Apes, King Kong, and different Hollywood superhero flicks. Chatterjee attacked the depiction of Lord Rama as a comic book hero. Sita as a helpless damsel in distress. Ravana as a cross between Thanos and Voldemort, and Bajrang/Hanuman as a strong acrobat oblivious of his talents. While admiring Saif Ali Khan’s performance and Prabhas’ commanding screen presence, he believed that the film wasted their abilities, which he considered unworthy.

Hence the movie is yet to earn hearts of the viewers.

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